Professor of Computer Science
University of California
My professional work in computer graphics and geometric design provides a bridge between mathematics and the world of art. Stimuli flow in both directions. Since 1994 I have collaborated with wood sculptor Brent Collins. I have analyzed some of his inspirational pieces and captured possible underlying generative paradigms in parameterized computer programs. These programs could then be used to create new artwork belonging to the same family - but at larger scales or in different materials such as metal or stone. On other occasions I am trying to make an instructive visualization model for a mathematical concept. Trying to make these models clear, as well as visually attractive, often yields pleasing sculptural maquettes.
Tetra-Tangle of Four Bow-Tie Links
9" x 9" x 9"
ABS plastic, printed on an FDM machine
Four sets of three mutually parallel, 3-sided prisms, pointing in 4 different tetrahedral directions, form the core of the TETRAXIS® puzzle. When two triangular prism-end-faces that share a common vertex are closed off with a connecting sweep, a loose “bow-tie” is formed. If all twelve pairs of adjoining triangular end-faces are joined in this manner, the result is a link of 4 mutually interlocking, twisted, prismatic bow-tie loops. This represents an alternating 12-crossing link that has the same connectivity as the “Tetra-Tangle,” which I constructed from 4”-diameter card-board tubes in 1983. The new geometry is has been realized as 4 differently colored sets of 6 tubular snap-together parts each, fabricated on an FDM machine.